Demonstrators from community and faith-based groups returned to the State House on June 24, less than a week after lawmakers passed a budget that did not include immigration enforcement measures they’d pushed for.
After singing, praying and chanting, the group delivered to lawmakers letters -- signed by “Immigrants and immigrant families in Massachusetts” and each with a black mourning ribbon affixed to it -- expressing “heartbreak, our tremendous disappointment in our elected officials and outrage at the failure of Speaker Robert DeLeo and conference committee members (Rep.) Jeffrey Sanchez and (Sen.) Karen Spilka to protect immigrant families.”
Bishop Alan Gates of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, one of a handful of clergy members to speak, said the Episcopal Church supports a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants.
“It does not befit a commonwealth to extend legal due process to some categories of residents and not to others,” Gates said. “It does not befit a commonwealth to create communities in which some residents turn confidently and gratefully to their public safety officers when needed, while other residents are afraid to do so.”